Post #72 – The One I Let Get Away – On Purpose

Yesterday I let two HUGE deals go. Let’s look at the deals first, and then the reason I let them go…

My Shoppers Drug Mart had a certain meat jerky (beef and pork) on sale from $8.99 to $2.99. In addition to this, if you bought 2 bags you got 2,000 points, on top of this, I had 2 good Optimum bonuses, 18,500 on $100 and 7,000 on $45. In the store there was about 140 bags of jerky.

Suppose I bought 34 bags with the $100 deal, and 16 bags with the $45 deal.

For the first one, it costs me $101.66 (no tax). In return I get 1,010 regular points, 18,500 bonus points and 34,000 promotion points.

For the second one, it costs me $47.84. In return I get 470 regular points, 7,000 bonus points and 16,000 promotion points.

So the total is $101.66 I would get 76,980 Optimum points, which is $137.71. So for $-36.05 I would get $449.50 worth of jerky.

Had I bought all the jerky, which I debated, I would have paid $418.60 and gotten back 169,518 points ($303.27), so $115.43 for $1,348.50 in jerky.

I did buy 20 bags for about $10 after points, so roughly $180 worth of jerky for $10, which is still Boom! Savings!

The second deal was Lindor chocolate bars. This one is more of a rough approximation, but the story is still a good one…

I found 53 Lindor chocolate bars (normally $4.79+tax) selling for an average of $1+tax. They also came with a bonus, buy 3 get 1,000 points. If I used my bonus coupon from above (“Gavin – you don’t get to use it twice!” – I know, but these are all hypotheticals) I would get 7,000 points on $45.

Let’s math it out: The cost would be $59.89 ($53+tax) and the points received would be: 530 base points, 7,000 bonus points and 17,000 bonus points. The value of points would be $43.88. So $286.87 worth of chocolate bars would have been mine for about $16.

I did end up buying a dozen. ūüôā So Boom! Savings! just the same ūüôā

Why didn’t I take full advantage of these deals?
For the first one, the store was trying to sell a dozen bags on clearance, but they changed the price of the entire stock, so they had made a mistake. They made a similar mistake in the summer and I bought $2,966 worth of cold, flu and allergy medicine for $5 (it doesn’t get any more Boom! – Savings! than that!). SH pointed out that they had made the same mistake. I went in, and talked to the Night Manager, and he said there was nothing he could do to stop me. Another Manager had asked me (after the drug score) to ask whenever I saw a deal that looked too good if it was really meant to be a deal. I told her I would. I told them I would buy a few bags (20) and come back the next day (today) and if the price wasn’t changed I would buy them all. (The changed them, so I bought the 12 they were actually trying to clear).

For the second one, it was just a fudge up on the part of one of the staff. They had dropped the prices to clear a few remaining bars. Someone took down the sale stickers and they restocked the shelf, but forgot to change the price in the system! I asked the Night Manager “Is X going to catch sh*t over this?” and the answer was yes. So, again I bought a few (12) and said I would be back today to buy the rest if the price hadn’t changed. They changed the price before I got to the register (but still honoured my 12).

So why didn’t I do it? It just would have gotten people in trouble, and honestly, jerky and chocolate isn’t really something anyone needs. Had either of these been baby formula or toothpaste I would have taken full advantage. Also I warned them: I got them on the drugs, I gave them a break on the jerky, but since they now know that I know how it is working if they want to continue doing it this way I will take advantage of this any time in the future. I didn’t get it in writing, but they agreed that this was fair. ūüôā

There is no need to get people in trouble, especially if you read through this blog and see the countless (countful?) number of times they have helped me: negotiated on expiring goods, tipped me off to items going on clearance and even straight up given me a box full of children’s toys and games to give to charity.

I have a dislike for big business (look up the salary of the CEO of SDM and you’ll know why). But in these two cases I’d be beating business at the expense of the happiness of front line staff who have gone out of their way to help me. It just doesn’t come out as winning¬†in the end.

For those itching for a story about a “normal type” good deal, here is something I took advantage of! I bought 5 packs of pepperettes for $0.99 instead of $9.99! Boom! Savings!

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Happy shopping, happy savings, happy giving…

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Post #71 – Delivery Day is a Great Day!

Life is getting busy, and the opportunities to do deliveries has been reduced. What this does however is make every delivery day one that is full of excitement.
Wednesday, I was lucky enough to make two deliveries, present at a high school, meet with a new organization (well, new to us) and do some shopping!
It was interesting presenting to Norman Johnston Secondary Alternative Program (a school for students who have dropped out of school, but are returning to
finish their diploma) and meeting with Cynthia, the CEO of Voice Found, an organization who provide inclusive support services for people trying to exit the
sex trade in Eastern Ontario. They also help people who have been victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
The more I present, the more I refine my presentation about saving money. What used to be a presentation only about how to save money (which is important!)
has morphed (depending on the audience) into a presentation about self-empowerment when it comes to dealing with businesses.
*Spoiler Alert!* I love to shop! *end of Spoiler Alert* That being said, there are still situations where I hate shopping, for example shopping for a car. Why? I figured it out yesterday, on top of the crazy sales tactics used by Salespeople, there is also the problem that if I am shopping for a car I usually need a car.
I preach, to those who will listen, to stock up on supplies (toilet paper, toothpaste, paper towels) so that you are never in a position of needing to buy them, but can take advantage of deals that pop up. I realized, only yesterday, that this is problem with shopping for a car. So from now on I am going to stockpile cars too (just kidding). It does make me realize that when we are going to be looking for another car that it would be best to start WAY before I know it will be the end of the life for the car we are replacing.
So much power, in dealing with business, comes from not needing what they are selling. Think of the epi-pen debacle in the States (Read about it here). Shopping when you don’t
need something is super empowering: like what is being offered? buy it; don’t? Walk away!
Back to Delivery Day…
Feeling good from having dropped off tons of stuff to The Youville Centre, presenting at Norman Johnston and meeting with Voice Found I decided to try my¬†luck shopping…Managed to find this gem:
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On top of it, I got points back on the full $1.09! So it truly ended up costing me less than $0.00! Boom! Savings!
I also saw a bunch of posts (and people contacted me) about Superstore in Orleans selling crayons and coloured pencils for $0.44.
I had to work in the evening yesterday so I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to get any. Flukily (luckily?) a friend contacted me in the late evening to¬†tell me there was still a lot left, so I went out and bought 99 packs at 91% off! Boom! Savings!
I had meant to buy 100 packs, but I miscounted. I also debated buying more there are soooo many programs that could use coloured pencils. I have a hard time¬†getting my head around people that see great deals and don’t think to help those who are less fortunate. For $0.44 people could bring a smile to a child’s (and¬†maybe an adult’s) face. I hope that people reading this blog already think this way, but if not, maybe consider starting ūüôā
When presenting to Norman Johnston, I gave each student a chocolate bar. The chocolate bars cost me $0.125 each. Full sized Mr Big bars (Boom! Savings!)...I¬†told them, for the $2.00 I bought all 16 of them chocolate bars and I asked them if I had brought them happiness in excess of $0.125. Most said “yes”, but¬†after a short pause one of them blurted out “I get it! For a little bit of money, you’ve made a lot of people happy”. Since sharing brings happiness, I was¬†also happy, well in excess of my $2. (Also, it keeps the kids off their phones, and keeps them from chatting with each other, and they are curious about how¬†I got chocolate bars that cheap)…
Giving is a great feeling, and if you can learn to do it inexpensively, you can do a lot of it for very little!

Post #70 – Charitable Tax Donations

All donations made to Boom! Savings! get charitable tax receipts
(the only exception to this would be if you ask¬†for¬†your funds to be directed to a cause that isn’t a registered charity).

(Go to the bottom of the post to see how to give)

If the world were a perfect place, there would be no need for charity. If the world were slightly less perfect there would be no need for us to ask for your help in making Boom! Savings! a reality…

I’m writing this post as many people in Ottawa are trying to determine how much to give to the United Way campaign this fall.¬†We¬†don’t want to draw donors away from giving to the United Way, but at the same time, I think of the good that we do and realize that Boom! Savings! is worth it.

Let’s look at what happens when you donate money to the United Way and to us.

When you donate to the United Way they take 15% (source:¬†the United Way). They then pass the money on to the charity and the charity uses 15% to 45% towards overhead (source:¬†2013 Huffington Post article). Best case scenario, your $1 is turning into about $0.75. This is not all horrible though, the overhead costs do go towards salaries of employees and promotion of the charities. I’m not arguing against charities using money in this way.

When you donate $1 to Boom! Savings! We convert it to from anywhere between $4 and $20. That’s right, donating $1 can turn into $20 worth of product directly into the hands of those who need it most. We take exactly $0 from the donations, in fact, everyone who volunteers for us is a¬†donor too!

Some great examples over the past year:

Buying $2,955 worth of shampoos, conditioners and other skin, hair and body product for $200! (Read about it here!)

Buying $7,000 worth of children’s winter outerwear for $1,600! (Read about it here!)

Buying $94 worth of baby food for $1.80! (Read about it here!)

Buying $2,043 worth of hair product for about $150! (Read about it here!)

Buying $350 worth of baby food for $1.40! (Read about it here!)

Buying $412 worth of children’s Halloween costumes for $54! (Read about it here!)

Buying $406 worth of stuff for $-5! (Read about it here!)

Buying $77 worth of cereal for $4! (Read about it here!)

We’ve helped 17 local charities and causes so far! We’d love to help the causes close to your heart!

The Youville Centre www.youvillecentre.org
Youth Services Bureau ysb.ca
Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard gefc.ca
Britannia Woods Food Pantry www.britanniawoods.com/food-bank
St. Joe’s Women’s Centre www.stjoeswomenscentre.org/b
Parkdale Food Centre parkdalefoodcentre.ca
Harmony House www.harmonyhousews.com
Centre 507 www.centre507.org
Daisy’s Drop In
The Snowsuit Fund  snowsuitfund.com
Tampon Tuesday www.tampontuesday.com
Norman Johnston Food Cupboard
The Tampon Project
Capital Welcomes www.capitalwelcomes.ca
The Diane Morrison Hospice ottawamission.com/hospice
Parents with Preemies Association www.popottawa.org
Schools with students needing assistance (any School Board, we don’t discriminate!)

How can¬†you give? Most of our donations our done through e-mail transfers (boomsavingscharity (at) gmail (dot) com). If that doesn’t work for you we can take cash or cheques directly from you.

How do we issue receipts? We don’t! We provide our receipts from our purchases to the charities and the charities make the receipts out to you. You will receive receipt(s) from the charities that are supported by this cause!

Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/boomsavings

Follow us on Twitter at @Savings4Charity

Post #69 – Deal Stacking! – 94.8% in savings!

Shoppers Drug Mart – $77 worth of cereal, $38 paid, 19,500 in Optimum points received.

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“Stacking” is when you can use one or more deals on the same product. I think by the truest definition it has to be two coupons, but in the end it doesn’t matter because this worked out to be a crazy good savings that will end up with all these boxes of cereal going to the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard.

Twice a week (maybe more?) Shopper’s Drug Mart send e-mails with new deals on your Optimum card. I got one of the sweetest you can get 12,000 points on $50 (which, if maximised, can be worth $21.46 or 43%)…but I also had a “get 15X the points on Kelloggs cereal. 15X the points is worth about 26.8%, so right away if I buy only Kelloggs products I’m getting 69.8% back in points.

The kicker that made this deal so amazing is that Nature’s Path cereal all had $3 off stickers on them. So, the $50 deal could happen at $38. I was getting bonus points on the $12 I didn’t even spend!

Looking back on the receipt, it seems like I got 15X the points on the Nature’s Path…So either it is owned by Kelloggs, or the computer messed up and gave me 15X on everything (which I have heard rumours of before).

“But wait, Gavin, you keep talking about $50, but you say the cereal is worth $77. What gives?”¬†– Kellogg’s cereal was on sale this week! Most of the boxes were 50% off!

An amazing aligning of the stars for a massive percentage Boom! Savings!